Terror raids: 'The officers got bad information and are using it to scare everyone'

The last two officers on duty outside the former home of Hamzah Khan Shenwari, the only British national arrested in the raids, slipped away quietly yesterday afternoon.

They had been on duty outside the modest red brick terrace house around the clock since dozens of heavily armed officers swooped on an unsuspecting Galsworthy Avenue in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, 13 days ago with the aim of smashing an alleged terrorist plot. But as mothers walked with prams and children returned from school in the sunshine yesterday, the shock troops were long gone. So too were the forensic teams that had toiled for the best part of two weeks trying to find evidence against the two men that lived there. Shortly after lunch it was the turn of the uniformed guards to take their leave.

Mr Shenwari, who at 42 was the oldest of the group of associates, was considering his future with friends yesterday, hoping to make contact with his wife and children in Pakistan and make sure they were safe. Unlike the others he is not facing deportation but he wasn't planning on coming back to Cheetham Hill anytime soon, his lawyer Sawar Khan said.

The security guard's former neighbours meanwhile were left feeling a sense of both vindication and frustration that their community had once again been thrust into the unwelcome media spotlight. Ummair Shafiq, 21, has lived in and around Galsworthy Drive with his two brothers, sister and numerous cousins, all his life. "I can tell you what everyone thinks around here and that is that there is no terrorism," said the 21-year-old part-time student. "The police got bad information and they are just using it to scare everyone. It is just scare tactics.

"These people are not terrorists, they work nine to five, they are very religious. We have got used to it here. Every year there is going on to do with terrorism – it has become a daft game. But now people are afraid to talk and joke in case they get accused of being in al-Qa'ida. It is creating paranoia," he said.

Mohammed Mohammed, 19, said he had admired Mr Shenwari, praying with him at the local mosque. "He made me very welcome. I never expected something like this to happen," he said. "It makes me think that last time they took an innocent man now they might take me as well. But when we come to a country as Muslims we must obey the rules."

One Muslim father of four, who asked not to be identified, said he was glad to be back to normal after putting up with police cars running outside his house in the middle of the night, keeping his children awake. He said he was growing tired of explaining to them what was going on. "Every day they are asking me questions. They should have made sure everything was correct."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum